Links and references to articles by the leading UK news providers covering subjects that are of interest to those living and working in rural England and Wales.
Birds with bigger brains are cities' high-flyers
Urban-dwelling birds tend to have larger brains than their rural cousins, according to scientists.
The Times - 27 April 2011 - 17
Farmer pay penalty for calling 999
When a gang of travellers trespassed on her land and allegedly threatened to cut her throat with a chainsaw, Tracy St Clair Pearce dialled 999, expecting protection and reassurance from the police but while they took a statement and visited the nearby traveller camp, officers came back and confiscated her shotgun, saying it was a “sensible precaution”.
Daily Telegraph - 27 April 2011 - 3
More than one black sheep in the family
Sixty black lambs have been born to a white ram and 37 white ewes on a Hertfordshire farm.
The Times - 27 April 2011 - 16
Not out of the woods yet, says Osborne
George Osborne has warned his Cabinet colleagues that the country continues to face "difficult" economic conditions on the eve of critical growth figures. Agriculture has raised 0.7 percent with rising grain prices helping farms but higher prices have hit livestock farmers.
The Times - 27 April 2011 - 7
Ospreys return after 400 years
Ospreys are breeding in mid-Wales for the first time in more 400 years.
Daily Telegraph - 27 April 2011 - 30
Compulsory microchipping for all puppies
Every puppy born or sold in Britain will need to be microchipped, under a scheme being planned by the Government to combat dangerous dogs.
Daily Telegraph - 25 April 2011 - 11
Parakeets face cull
A species of parakeet living wild in Britain could be culled to protect native wildlife and damage to crops, according to the Government.
The Times - 25 April 2011 - 16
Restrictions in place over a hot Easter
The Environment Agency is threatening to place restrictions on river extraction in East Anglia.
Daily Telegraph - 25 April 2011 - 7
Two weeks to clear cheques
Small businesses are being warned that cheques are to take two weeks to clear because of the double bank holiday weekends.
Daily Telegraph - 25 April 2011 - 7
Shoot the badgers
Charles Clover argues that the Government should pull the trigger and press ahead with a badger cull.
Sunday Times - 24 April 2011 - 22
Boom in beekeeping brings out swarms of thieves
Thieves are profiting from a surge of enthusiasm for beekeeping, stealing hives to order and selling them to unsuspecting novices, police have said.
The Times - 22 April 2011 - 21
Seawater on tap for the first time
Large volumes of seawater are being desalinated and pumped into the mains supply for the first time as Britain basks in its driest spring in 70 years.
The Times - 22 April 2011 - 25
Beware of the dogbo
Dog owners could receive criminal records if their animal bites a visitor in their home under plans by the Government to overhaul the legislation on dangerous dogs.
The Times - 21 April 2011 - 22
Piles of country piles up for grabs
Some of Britain's finest castles, mansions and country piles are expected to come up for sale after the collapse last night of Von Essen Hotels with debts of more than £250 million.
The Times - 21 April 2011 - 65
'Betrayal' as National Trust allows free shooting of badgers in TB war
The National Trust is to permit the "free shooting" of badgers on its property but with some members threatening to resign has announced a vaccination plan to help tackle bovine TB.
The Times - 20 April 2011 - 4
Britain's first soil map finds land for crops
Britain's soil bacteria have been mapped for the first time in an effort to understand the potential for agriculture across the country.
Daily Telegraph - 20 April 2011 - 38
Driest March in a decade
March was the driest month in 50 years in England and Wales and many reservoirs and rivers are exceptionally low for this time of year, prompting fears of a hosepipe ban.
Daily Telegraph - 20 April 2011 - 17
Wind farms 'mean bigger bills'
The failure of wind farms to produce enough energy during cold periods will mean higher fuel bills because the new technology will need to be backed up by fossil fuels, experts have warned.
Daily Telegraph - 20 April 2011 - 11
Nimby struggle raises spectre of forest U-turn
The campaign against HS2 could slowly gather pace and be likened to the public outcry during the proposed forestry sell-off.
Financial Times - 19 April 2011 - 3
Sparks fly as cost of high-speed alternative leaps
The official cost of upgrading the west coast main line as an alternative to building the proposed High Speed 2 rail line has almost doubled in the space of 12 months, making HS2 appear much better value than previously believed.
Financial Times - 19 April 2011 - 3
Blowing billions on the fantasy of wind power
Charles Clover writes that nobody wants to be the first politican to say the EU renewables target will have to go, but "it will".
Sunday Times - 17 April 2011 - 27
Bill Gates gives farmers in poor continents £11 million for GM crops
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has donated £11 million to help produce genetically modified crops to fight malnutrition in Africa.
The Times - 14 April 2011 - 20
Fujitsu broadband plan
BT faces a fresh competitive threat after Fujitsu revealed plans to build a £2 billion high-speed broadband network covering five million homes in rural areas.
Financial Times - 14 April 2011 - 1
Local rumblings of discontent in the national park
Roy Hattersley writes that in the Peak District national park, created 60 years ago, locals are not happy about off-roading which is spoiling the natural landscape.
The Times - 14 April 2011 - 22
Ought we to pay the landowners?
A letter to the Editor disputes having to pay landowners for the countryside and suggests conducting a "test" auction of country estates to see what their value is.
Financial Times - 14 April 2011 - 14
A letter to the Editor says that the Uplands look the way they do through hundreds of years of conservation grazing, but with pressure mounting to use the Uplands for tree planting to enable carbon sequestration the writer suggests the landscape which forms our rural heritage could change.
The Times - 14 April 2011 - 24
Enterprise remains rooted in the land
Luke Johnson writes that farmers were the first entrepreneurs and that agriculture today remains dominated by family concerns focused on the same core issues as their ancient predecessors - land, water, weather, disease, yield and soil.
Financial Times - 13 April 2011 - 16
Zac Goldsmith opens 'cow-friendly' dairy
A new dairy farm that will be cow-friendly, wildlife-friendly and farmer-friendly has been opened in Surrey by Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.
Daily Telegraph - 13 April 2011 - 34
Dandelions spring up early in April sun
Dandelions have sprung up throughout the country three weeks early and in greater numbers due to the unusually warm spring, and as a result of added nitrates in soli from cars, industry and fertilisers.
Daily Telegraph - 12 April 2011 - 7
Land ownership in the real world
A letter to the Editor says that as the owner of an estate in the National Park he can assure a previous letter writer that the cost of maintenance of the landscape is considerably more than the income it produces and the owners hold the land as a family obligation rather than a business proposition.
Financial Times - 12 April 2011 - 12
Ranger 'trapped hawks in cage'
A gamekeeper on National Trust land in Derbyshire illegally used a cage with a live pigeon as bait to catch birds of prey, a court heard yesterday.
Daily Telegraph - 12 April 2011 - 7
Supermarkets failing to look local for food
Only two percent of the food available in supermarkets is from a local source, according to the Field to Fork report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
Daily Telegraph - 12 April 2011 - 32
Wild flowers to help insects from A to B
The Co-operative supermarket is to create green corridors of nectar-rich plants along roadsides, fields and houses so insects can move around the country more easily.
Daily Telegraph - 12 April 2011 - 9
Danger lies in wait for Coalition on May 5
Labour looks set for a night of victories in the local government elections as voters give their verdict on the Cameron-Clegg pact.
Financial Times - 11 April 2011 - 2
Organic food ‘plays tricks on taste buds’
The taste and health benefits of organic food could all be in the mind, according to a study by researchers at Cornell University in New York.
Daily Telegraph - 11 April 2011 - 11
Prince’s fund will help poor farming families
A fund set up by the Prince of Wales will help farming families in times of hardship. The Prince’s Countryside Fund will be giving £40,000 to ARC Addington and Farm Crisis Network, organisations set up to help farmers in need.
Daily Telegraph - 11 April 2011 - 36
Farmer killed by tractor
A farmer on the Scilly Island of St Mary's has been crushed to death as his tractor collapsed on him as he tried to fix it.
Mail on Sunday - 10 April 2011 - 36
Sheep-eating plant blooms
An eight-foot Puya chhilensis that can kill large animals such as sheep has flowered for the first time in a decade in Wales.
Sunday Telegraph - 10 April 2011 - 4
Totnes, the town full of local greens
Totnes in Devon has been identified as the place whose shops sell some of the greatest proportions of locally grown food in the country with more than 60 percent of produce comes from farms within 30 miles of the town, according to a survey by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
Sunday Times - 10 April 2011 - 17
Business leader hits at scope of red tape reprieve
Former Tory adviser on economics policy Lord Wolfson, has said the Government has made a mistake in not extending the moratorium on red tape to companies with more than 10 employees.
Financial Times - 8 April 2011 - 2
Pheasant taken for 300-mile ride
A driver who ran over a pheasant found it alive three days later behind the car grille - after he has clocked up 300 miles.
Daily Telegraph - 8 April 2011 - 7
Smart phones put 'shorts and flip-flop' ramblers in peril
Ramblers who use their smartphones to navigate and have no idea how to read a map are causing the number of emergency call-outs to rise by 50 percent, mountain rescuers claim.
Daily Telegraph - 8 April 2011 - 7
Wild horses' healthy appetite will preserve wetlands
Eight rare Konik foals have been introduced to the RSPB Loch of Strathbeg nature reserve to help preserve its wetlands by grazing on coarse grass, sedges and rushes helping to boost biodiversity.
The Times - 8 April 2011 - 22
A 'so-called tax on land values is not a tax at all'
A letter to the Editor says that tax on land values is a payment for benefits received and argues that people should pay for what they get, so the community should collect the rental value of the land which is the only source of revenue to which it has a moral claim.
Financial Times - 7 April 2011 - 12
Cash lifeline for black grouse
The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £32,100 to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust to encourage the creation of native woodland for the black grouse.
Financial Times - 7 April 2011 - 4
Wet bogs hold the key to bird population
Daddy-long-legs living in wet bogs are the key to keeping some of Britain's most important upland breeding bird species alive, according to a university-led study.
Daily Telegraph - 7 April 2011 - 34
Wind turbines 'fall far short of energy claims'
Wind turbines produce far less power than has been claimed according to Scottish conservation charity The John Muir Trust.
Daily Telegraph - 7 April 2011 - 12
Farmers join drive to curb greenhouse gas
A group of agricultural organisations including the CLA, have said the industry will cut emissions by three million tonnes without comprising production, helping Britain to cut greenhouse gases by 34 percent by 2020.
Daily Telegraph - 6 April 2011 - 30
Sons no longer first in line
A majority of British land owners are prepared to leave their estate to their daughters, despite ancient common law allowing sons to claim full inheritance, according to a survey for Country Life.
Daily Telegraph - 6 April 2011 - 10
Third of adults will grow own veg
More than a third of adults in Britain said they would grow the majority of the fruit and vegetables they needed this season in a survey for B&Q.
Daily Telegraph - 6 April 2011 - 2
Help to pick the nation's favourite songbird
The nation's favourite songbird will be chosen by the public in a poll organised by the National Trust.
Daily Telegraph - 5 April 2011 - 32
Matt Ridley on climate change
Matt Ridley writes that about five percent of the world's grain production is now going to make motor fuel rather than food, with the result that farmers like himself get better prices but Africans end up paying more for food.
The Times - 5 April 2011 - 18
Organic sales slump
Organic food sales slumped to £1.73 billion last year, down 5.9 percent on 2009 but the rate of decline has slowed down during the year, according to the Soil Association.
The Times - 5 April 2011 - 31
Scrapping of audit body to save £50 million
Local government minister Grant Shapps told a committee of MPs that people would look back on the existence of the Audit Commission and "be amazed the Government used a quango to organise audit services" and that its abolition would save about £50 million a year.
Financial Times - 5 April 2011 - 2
West is best in list of top beach resorts
West Country locations such as St Ives and Newquay dominate a table of the best British beach destinations.
Daily Telegraph - 5 April 2011 - 11
Call for Downs park to work with farmers
The South Downs national park will have to work with farmers and landowners to ensure public access, according to the NFU.
Daily Telegraph - 4 April 2011 - 32
Save butterflies, asks Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough has urged gardeners to plant butterfly-friendly flowers to help turn around the fortunes of dozens of species in decline. Five species have already become extinct in the UK and almost half the remaining 56 species are under threat of extinction.
Daily Telegraph - 4 April 2011 - 10
DNA tests on cattle to stop farmers keeping cows with TB
Cattle which test positive for bovine TB will have their DNA taken to stop farmers keeping diseased cows illegally, Defra has said today.
Daily Telegraph - 1 April 2011 - 16
More turbines, but wind energy runs out of puff
The average output from Britain's 275 onshore wind farms fell last year to the lowest level on record, according to official figures that call into question the Government's decision to rely heavily on turbines for future energy.
The Times - 1 April 2011 - 26
UK emissions increas 2.8 percent
Britain's greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.8 percent last year, up from 566.3 million tonnes in 2009, after a surge indemand for gas.
Financial Times - 1 April 2011 - 4
Your chance to have a say on waterways
The public are being asked by the Government for their views on how to set up a "national trust for waterways" in England and Wales.
Daily Telegraph - 1 April 2011 - 36